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What is awareness?

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What is awareness? Not Tao 4/4/15 11:32 PM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/5/15 9:36 PM
RE: What is awareness? Victor 4/6/15 9:04 AM
RE: What is awareness? (D Z) Dhru Val 4/5/15 9:56 PM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/7/15 1:39 AM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/6/15 10:08 AM
RE: What is awareness? Derek 4/6/15 10:48 AM
RE: What is awareness? Victor 4/6/15 12:10 PM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/6/15 1:53 PM
RE: What is awareness? Bill F. 4/6/15 3:03 PM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/6/15 4:00 PM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/6/15 5:26 PM
RE: What is awareness? John Wilde 4/6/15 6:34 PM
RE: What is awareness? Victor 4/6/15 6:29 PM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/6/15 9:54 PM
RE: What is awareness? Bill F. 4/6/15 9:55 PM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/6/15 9:58 PM
RE: What is awareness? Echo 10 4/6/15 10:14 PM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/6/15 11:10 PM
RE: What is awareness? Bill F. 4/6/15 11:26 PM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/7/15 5:22 AM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/7/15 5:43 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/7/15 8:44 AM
RE: What is awareness? elizabeth 4/7/15 6:56 AM
RE: What is awareness? Eva Nie 4/7/15 12:03 AM
RE: What is awareness? Victor 4/6/15 6:23 PM
RE: What is awareness? Eva Nie 4/7/15 12:01 AM
RE: What is awareness? CJMacie 4/8/15 6:50 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/8/15 7:40 AM
RE: What is awareness? Not Tao 4/8/15 11:46 AM
RE: What is awareness? CJMacie 4/9/15 2:05 AM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/7/15 10:47 PM
RE: What is awareness? Andreas 4/7/15 6:25 AM
RE: What is awareness? Psi 4/7/15 11:07 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/7/15 2:20 PM
RE: What is awareness? Bill F. 4/7/15 9:20 PM
RE: What is awareness? Mark 4/8/15 3:27 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/8/15 7:56 AM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/8/15 9:07 AM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/9/15 7:15 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/9/15 8:51 AM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/9/15 9:17 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/9/15 9:40 AM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/9/15 8:38 PM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/10/15 10:13 AM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/10/15 7:00 PM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/10/15 8:30 PM
RE: What is awareness? Change A. 4/9/15 9:15 AM
RE: What is awareness? Mark 4/8/15 9:38 AM
RE: What is awareness? Chris Marti 4/8/15 10:54 AM
RE: What is awareness? Mark 4/8/15 11:46 AM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/9/15 1:02 AM
RE: What is awareness? CJMacie 4/9/15 2:10 AM
RE: What is awareness? Alin Mathews 4/9/15 7:54 AM
RE: What is awareness? Darin 4/10/15 8:36 PM
What is awareness?
Answer
4/4/15 11:32 PM
Those of you who claim to experience a non-dual existance, I need some help understanding what awareness is from that perspective.  What is all of this, anyway?  It just doesn't make any sense.  I am a part of the universe, so the universe is aware, but everything that is not "me" is an object of awareness and I am disconnected from it.  There is me, and there is everything else.  I am nothing in particular, and everything else seems solid and real.  Yet, the thing that I am is the only thing I can know exists.

Science tells us about the incomprehensable vastness of the universe. Massive stars that swallow our whole planet as a speck of dust.  Nebulas and galaxies so vast that I can't even be measured in comparison.  Yet, I worry about being late for work.  I am nothing tangible, but it's all I know.  There is no reason to it, it all just is.  I can't comprehend a beginning or an end.  There is just me, all alone, with all of that out there beyond me.

http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/resources/index.html?body=solitude_self.html

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/5/15 9:36 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Awareness is just the sense of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. "Me" comes up later after the mind starts to differentiate and put labels on to sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/5/15 9:56 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
To me non-dual points to the fact that awareness is inseperable from phenomenon in actual experience. 

Without awareness there is no phenomenon and without phenomenon there is no awareness.

To be aware means to be aware of some sensation or phenomenon.

Without awareness how can phenomenon manifest? If there is just awareness with no sensation how can it possibly be aware ?

So the sense of seperation we have betwen awareness and phenomenon is the product of a conceputal worldview that is taken to be real by the mind at some level.

Science is indirect prediction and imputation based on repeated observation. So the vastness of the universe etc is not of relevance.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 1:39 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
(D Z) Dhru Val:
To me non-dual points to the fact that awareness is inseperable from phenomenon in actual experience. 

Without awareness there is no phenomenon and without phenomenon there is no awareness.

To be aware means to be aware of some sensation or phenomenon.

Without awareness how can phenomenon manifest? If there is just awareness with no sensation how can it possibly be aware ?


there is probably is no such thing as awareness without sense organs, but the reverse, sense organs without awareness of sense organ sensations.

a universe without sense organs wouldn't mean phenomena can't manifest. magnetic currents, gases, minerals, rocks, water, etc were probably not experientially apparent until biological sense organ awareness developed.

the first life forms were completely unaware of their primordial sensors as sensations, they were just biological automatic attraction and repulsion mechanisms with no reflective awareness registering those responses. they were just cell growth phenomena. 

then billions of years later human awareness developed and laid claim to it's bodily sense data as 'my' sensations fabricating a mental split that doesn't exist then a belief that phenomena can't manifest without consciousness. the vanity of it lol  

and with it came the belief in "the isolation of every human soul" [Not Tao's link] is the reason why everyone regardless of gender needs equal oportunity to get the education they choose so they can look after themselves because they are "all alone". 

wouldnt it be more sensible to call for equal opportunity so everyone can contribute and build to the best of their abilities a commmunity that does not feed its citizens a bs story about being isolated souls?  

very old thinking that link. important, but a pity, that we still making complex social issues out of basic instinctual drives thus perpetuating gender inequality. time we pointed directly at them. 

So the sense of seperation we have betwen awareness and phenomenon is the product of a conceputal worldview that is taken to be real by the mind at some level.

Science is indirect prediction and imputation based on repeated observation. So the vastness of the universe etc is not of relevance.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 9:04 AM as a reply to Change A..
It seems to be your (entirely reasonable) belief that there's a nondual awareness and a dual awareness but that's an  inherent contradiction, isn't it?

I'd be very surprised if you find a satisfactory answer via any website or forum or in any book (as opposed to sitting down with someone who knows directly and having a discussion about it).

People have been interested in ultimate reality (nonduality) for millennia and surely, if it were possible, one of them would have put the recipe in a book by now.

However, even the Buddha wasn't able to do that.

One way of looking at "teaching" is that it's more like psychotherapy or friendship, both of which tend to take place face-to-face.

Having said that, if reality is nondual, you can never be cut-off from the source because you are that, so it's entirely possible that you can Self-realise without a "teacher". After all, it's said that the Buddha did it by himself. Although, does anyone ever do anything in isolation?

You see a few of the paradoxes that might require skillful means to resolve?

Sorry, this was meant as a reply to the OP but I seem to have pressed the wrong buttons again and replied to Change A. instead.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 10:08 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
My question was meant to be experiential. I'm not saying there is or is not a dual or non-dual consciousness. I simply stated my experience.  Does this experience change with a non-dual realization?  If so, how?  One of my friends loves to say, "all is one," but what exactly does that mean?  Is it just an affermation of solipsism, where a person realizes they are alone and expands this loneliness to encompass the whole universe, or is there a percieved connection to a different kind of awareness - a brahman or tao or godhead that permeates everything and creates an aware connection to a larger reality?  Or does it go the other way and awareness itself is percieved to be an error in perception?  I know all of these ideas and more exist in mystical literature.  I'm just curious how people would relate their experiences personally - especially without technical terms.  If you believe you're enlightened, describe your awareness to me.  What is it?  How did it change?  Why is this change important/not important?

@Change and DZ: What you guys describe there, is that an actual perceptual change in your waking experience, or simply a working understanding of the way awareness functions.  Is your reality directly sensate with no sense of watching, or is it like Daniel says where the sense of watching is just dissociated?

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 10:48 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao, see if my explanation helps you: http://spiritualawakening.ca In my view, these ontological propositions ("non-dual," "all is one") are red herrings. All that's happened is that the constructs of the mind that develop from infancy onward have been seen through. If you go deep enough, you can even see through object permanence. The tendency to express the result in terms of abstract propositions is just something we've inherited from Indian culture of the first millennium B.C. As I think you've already discovered, this is not actually helpful. And as you hint, it would be better were this discourse to take place in phenomenological terms.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 12:10 PM as a reply to Derek.
My question was meant to be experiential. I'm not saying there is or is not a dual or non-dual consciousness. I simply stated my experience. Does this experience change with a non-dual realization?

You're assuming that my experience prior to enlightenment was the same as your present experience but your experience wasn't/isn't my experience, so I can't answer that question. What I can say is that my experiences changed after enlightenment. However, the expieriencer didn't. That's a really important point and it might be worth reading a couple of times at least.

If so, how?

Lots of ways but perhaps most importantly, a massive diminution of suffering. However, you should be aware that it's a bit like giving up smoking. Even decades later a craving for a cigarette can (very rarely) arise but as soon as that's noticed it usually dissolves very quickly, if not instantaneously.


One of my friends loves to say, "all is one," but what exactly does that mean?

You'd have to clarify that with your friend. I generally wouldn't assert that “all is one” because nonduality transcends oneness.

Is it just an affermation of solipsism, where a person realizes they are alone and expands this loneliness to encompass the whole universe,

It could be solipsism but you'd need to check that with your friend. I'm certainly not lonely and I don't assert that bodyminds other than Victor don't exist, so I'm not a solipsist.

or is there a percieved connection to a different kind of awareness - a brahman or tao or godhead that permeates everything and creates an aware connection to a larger reality?
Or does it go the other way and awareness itself is percieved to be an error in perception?


Awareness, perception and consciousness are synonyms although use of the words perception and awareness imply that there's something other than consciousness to perceive, if you see what I mean? Most people mistakenly believe that if perceptions (including the bodymind) disappear then consciousness disappears. Enlightenment is the experience that it doesn't.

I know all of these ideas and more exist in mystical literature. I'm just curious how people would relate their experiences personally - especially without technical terms. If you believe you're enlightened, describe your awareness to me. What is it?

Leaving aside beliefs, my consciousness is the same as yours (assuming that we agree the definition). I (consciousness) exist and I (consciousness) know that I (consciousness) exist and even if you believe that I (consciousness) doesn't exist it doesn't alter the fact that I exist and that I know that I exist. That disbelief actually appears in consciousness.

Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir put it more poetically but I'm not a poet. Sorry about that.

You could also read the Ashtavakra Gita, which covers it pretty comprehensively. Here's audio download http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/resource_centre/audio/ashtavakra-gita/


How did it change?

It didn't change.

Why is this change important/not important?

See my previous answers.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 1:53 PM as a reply to Victor.
Victor,

I meant loneliness as in awareness being singular and alone as opposed to some kind of experiential connection to other sources/kinds of awareness. Your other answers seem to show that this is true for you. You do not experience yourself as anything other than a single entity, right?

Most people mistakenly believe that if perceptions (including the bodymind) disappear then consciousness disappears. Enlightenment is the experience that it doesn't.


This is interesting. What you say here is actually opposite of how most people here explain non-duality. A popular quote is "in the seeing, just the seen," meaning consciousness is nothing other than the object it is perceiving. The cessation of consciousness is the attainment that "proves" there is no self - that there is nothing other than conscious phenomena - at the moment of stream entry. Your experience seems to be different from this.

@ Derek: Could you explain this in more detail:

To awaken is realize the total non-ownership of this process. The “I” is seen to be not the controller of events but a product of events. It has no substantial existence of its own.


Where does that leave awareness? Is awareness the "I" that the mind believes is controlling events? What happens to the controller? Is it still there after enlightenment? How is the experience different?

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 3:03 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
A popular quote is "in the seeing, just the seen," meaning consciousness is nothing other than the object it is perceiving. The cessation of consciousness is the attainment that "proves" there is no self - that there is nothing other than conscious phenomena - at the moment of stream entry.

Yikes. 

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 4:00 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Care to elaborate, Bill? emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 5:26 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
I suggest, humbly, that wrestling with these conundrums and trying to reach a conventional, logical conclusion is like a snake trying to swallow its tail so as to make itself disappear.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 6:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I suggest, humbly, that wrestling with these conundrums and trying to reach a conventional, logical conclusion is like a snake trying to swallow its tail so as to make itself disappear.

I like to think of it this way: We can talk about objects and abstractions, and we can talk about one thing in terms of another thing. But that which can't be objectified, that which has no inside and no outside, can't be spoken about in phenomenal terms -- because there's nothing other than it, and no external place to stand, nothing to compare it with. So a lot of nondual teachings use awareness as a label for that which is fundamental, undivided, incomparable, inconceivable, and has no inside or outside.

This label has pros and cons. On the con side, many people understandably associate awareness with the sentience of the body-mind, which creates so many philosophical hassles for a western mind that it's more trouble than it's worth. On the pro side, the word awareness points to something that is immediately accessible, and utterly non-separate from one's true nature, even now.

In summary, [in certain nondual teachings] awareness is used as a label for that which is fundamental, undivided, incomparable, inconceivable, has no inside or outside, and isn't at any distance from you.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 6:23 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Victor,

I meant loneliness as in awareness being singular and alone as opposed to some kind of experiential connection to other sources/kinds of awareness.


That's one of the reasons that I wouldn't generally refer to nonduality as oneness (because it allows the possibility that there could be loneliness).

Your other answers seem to show that this is true for you. You do not experience yourself as anything other than a single entity, right?

No, that's not a description that I'd use. It took me about an hour and forty minutes to put together the answers to your previous questions in as skillful a way as I could manage. Please refer back to those answers. The only way that I could be clearer would be face-to-face.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 6:29 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I suggest, humbly, that wrestling with these conundrums and trying to reach a conventional, logical conclusion is like a snake trying to swallow its tail so as to make itself disappear.
Very true. Nice analogy that I hadn't previously encountered. I've previously come across the quote "It can never be logical to attempt to describe the whole in terms of the parts," which is, to me, saying the same thing.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 9:54 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, I (less than humbly) disagree. Why else would the japanese practice koans? If you need to be unconventional in your descriptions, that's fine, but so far no one in this thread has made any attempt to describe their personal experience of awareness in their own words. (Even you, Victor, thought thank you for trying if you feel you gave it your best shot.) I'm not really interested in hearing portentious statements, haha.

I was sitting at my table last night, marveling at how strange it was to exist, so I was looking for some other perspectives, not a dharma talk or a lesson. emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 9:55 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Why else would the japanese practice koans?


Hmmm....that's exactly why the Japanese practice koans.


(Even you, Victor, thought thank you for trying if you feel you gave it your best shot.) 




RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 9:58 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Feel free to contribute something useful, Bill. emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 10:14 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
This applies to me. The staying home and masturbating part.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 11:10 PM as a reply to Echo 10.
LOL

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/6/15 11:26 PM as a reply to Echo 10.
Haha!

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 12:01 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:


This is interesting. What you say here is actually opposite of how most people here explain non-duality. A popular quote is "in the seeing, just the seen," meaning consciousness is nothing other than the object it is perceiving.
Or that the object being perceived is nothing other than consciousness.

The cessation of consciousness is the attainment that "proves" there is no self - that there is nothing other than conscious phenomena - at the moment of stream entry. Your experience seems to be different from this.
I think it depends on how you define 'consciousness' and 'self.'  If consciousness/self is the sense of "I" that exists in the Earth based environment/situation, then it could make sense to say that without this environment, there is no self. 

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 12:03 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I suggest, humbly, that wrestling with these conundrums and trying to reach a conventional, logical conclusion is like a snake trying to swallow its tail so as to make itself disappear.
Yep, it's a big assumption to believe that the nature of reality would follow 'logic.'  So far, from what we've seen of quantum reality, it follows no logic we yet understand..
-Eva

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 5:22 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Bill F.:
I'm just saying, what Chris said, yeah, that's the right thing. If you don't understand, keep practicing. People who lack insight think people who are speaking directly are speaking abstractly.  

I don't mean that in a derogatory way, but your questions reflect your current lack of insight, and it will come through practice, not the internet.

It's like saying, "I am deeply interested in finding the right woman, can you help me?", and then just staying home every weekend and masturbating, and wondering why you haven't found her yet.



well maybe he's not being honest enough. eg "I am deeply interested in finding a good fuck, can you help me?" and then just staying home every weekend and masturbating, and wondering why he hasn't found one yet, would be the more self serving analogy emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 5:43 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Bill F.:
I admit that is perhaps a more apt analogy. either way he's masturbating...and he shouldn't be...he should be doing something else...not for moral reasons...but because that's where the question is resolved.

"he should be doing something else" do you have any suggestions?

bearing in mind that to some insight meditation is masturbation. 

actually what he is doing is being honest with himself, attempting to face emotions and ask questions. many these days find that just as beneficial if not more so than meditating.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 6:25 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Non dual awareness is an impossiblity for grown ups. The brain faculty that gives rize to separatedness occurs around 2 years of age. Thats why parents hunt babies for a living. 
If you are a grown up and you claim non duality experience. this is how your life would be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1yeCOqxOas you would also fall down stairs. I havent seen any handlers going around preventing enlightened master from falling down stairs.
PS
Maybe perhaps that why enlightened masters also sit on their asses alot.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 6:56 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao

I can experience something that may be non-dual awareness. Not sure if it what others speak of or not. I can’t explain it. I can barely find words for it.

When I investigate, I realize that I know everything outside of myself / the universe only through my senses, thoughts, feelings and the stories that I make up and learn. It may be solid, real and immeasurably vast, but my perception of it is at best uncertain and known only through shifting sensation and, thoughts.

If I investigate “me”, all I find are shifting identities that come and go, sensations, feelings, thoughts, stories. I can’t find a solid me anywhere. My perception of me also turns out to be likewise uncertain and known only through shifting sensations and thoughts.

When I can let myself relax into the depth of the mystery and uncertainty of that, what I know as “me” and what I know as “not me” are not so different after all. I can sense a space or “awareness” in which the sensations, thoughts and emotions of “me” and “not me” arise. That awareness is large enough to hold it all without judgment, with a sense of compassion or kindness and with a sense of playfulness. It is large enough that I can let the boundaries blur.

At this moment I can see my foot, my sock, my shoe on the floor not my foot and the chair. The image of my foot and my sock seems to overlap in space with a felt sense of my foot. I watch as my toes flex and the sock and the shadow on the floor move! I can allow my self to be facinated.

I can hear the rain on the window and a bird calling and feel a sort of echo in myself each sound.

It is utterly ordinary, so ordinary that usually I do not notice or pay attention.
But when I open to it I can find a sense of wonder and fascination with the smallest of things.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 8:44 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Chris, I (less than humbly) disagree.

That's cool. This area of investigation is frought with disagreements and misunderstandings. Not surprisingly, either.



RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 11:07 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Those of you who claim to experience a non-dual existance, I need some help understanding what awareness is from that perspective.  What is all of this, anyway?  It just doesn't make any sense.  I am a part of the universe, so the universe is aware, but everything that is not "me" is an object of awareness and I am disconnected from it.  There is me, and there is everything else.  I am nothing in particular, and everything else seems solid and real.  Yet, the thing that I am is the only thing I can know exists.

Science tells us about the incomprehensable vastness of the universe. Massive stars that swallow our whole planet as a speck of dust.  Nebulas and galaxies so vast that I can't even be measured in comparison.  Yet, I worry about being late for work.  I am nothing tangible, but it's all I know.  There is no reason to it, it all just is.  I can't comprehend a beginning or an end.  There is just me, all alone, with all of that out there beyond me.

http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/resources/index.html?body=solitude_self.html
So, I have been contemplating your question.

What is Awareness?

My answers.

First, What is not Awareness?

Second, Awareness is the everchanging Echo of the Universe.

Third, Awareness is Mind Movement.

Fourth, Awareness is interaction with the Universe.

Fifth, There is not Awareness of the Universe, but there is Awareness with the Universe.

Sixth, Awareness is Impersonal and Impermanent.

Seventh, Awareness is Imponderable.

Had to have seven, cuz that is a magical , mystical number.

Disclaimer, awareness of awareness is subject to change at any given mind moment.

Psi

But mostly. 

What is not Awareness??????

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 2:20 PM as a reply to Psi.
Those of you who claim to experience a non-dual existance, I need some help understanding what awareness is from that perspective.  What is all of this, anyway?  It just doesn't make any sense.

Let me try to explain how this appears to me:

I think "awareness" is a chimera.This is because my investigations, as my practice has matured, reveal that objects are aware in and of themselves. As Daniel Ingram says, they are right where they are. Right there. Experiencing objects requires no additional or external perspective, controlling entity, observer or POV. In this sense I see the Theravada phrase "in the seeing is just the seen, in the hearing is just the heard...."  right on the money.

So, whence comes this "awareness"? It appears to exist because our minds work recursively. As Daniel Ingram says in MCTB, it's as if there is a time loop at play in the process of perception and we get to experience objects as they are (right where they are) and then again very quickly as the experience of that first experience. So I perceive an object and, as a human being, can then experience that experience, which is actually a second object/concept. This recursion seems to generate the sense that "I" am experiencing "things" outside of me, outside of my personal perspective and from the perespective of another entity or separate observer." Mind thus creates the subject/object duality and the resulting inferences (beliefs), which we learn to use and grow up with from a very early age, become our standard assumption about how things work. An assumption that can be seen through with, at least at first, careful, concentrated and meticulous investigation.

So it only appears that there is some internal "thing" observing some external "thing." I can, and regularly do, experience both the dual (It's how the human mind naturally works, after all) and then if I pay closer attention I can experience the non-dual. I don't really like using terms like "all is one" because that's an over simplification. All of "this" is interconnected (think of the massively chaotic nature of the world as we experience it and how causes and conditions are operating all the time to bring all these experiences together as we observe them).

YMMV, of course, but I'm trying to answer your initial questions from my personal experience. From the perspective of the habitual, unexamined, normally occurring way the human mind operates what I just described doesn't make sense, exactly as as you have said.

Hopefully, this is at least somewhat helpful. And I anticipate all kinds of objections  :-)




RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 9:20 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Great post, Chris!

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/7/15 10:47 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:

@Change and DZ: What you guys describe there, is that an actual perceptual change in your waking experience, or simply a working understanding of the way awareness functions.  Is your reality directly sensate with no sense of watching, or is it like Daniel says where the sense of watching is just dissociated?

My experience is that I know when my mind is putting labels on the experience vs. when it is not. The story about Hui-Neng describes it well:

Two monks were arguing about a flag flapping in the wind as Hui Neng, the great Zen patriarch, was passing by.

One monk argued that it was the flag that was moving, while the other argued that it was the wind that was moving.

Hui Neng said, "Actually, it is your minds that are moving."



So when you are thinking about awareness and anything else, it is your mind that is moving!

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 3:27 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris,

I'm wondering if I understand you correctly. Do you mean awareness is just another phenomena. For example color is a phenomena associated with sight, awareness could be a phenomena associated with consciousness. 

Typically people assume there is a separate "thing" called consciousness and then phenomena sit "on top" of this. If we consider awareness to be just another type of phenomena then I think it makes more sense. It does not solve the question of how phenomena come about but it simplifies the model and I don't see a good argument for adding the complexity of consciousness as something fundamental.

You seem to have this insight but then you ascribe awareness to objects. I think that might be an assumption. For example if you perceive a blue object, the object is not blue, the phenomena exist only in your mind. If we add a filter between you and the object then the phenomena can change color. The object is not in your mind, only the phenomena. You could have a phenomena of the object having awareness but that is just another phenomena - like the color blue. I don't think we need to ascribe phenomena like color or awareness to the object. These phenomena provide a map - they are not the actual terrrain.

It seems to be a reasonable assumption that all phenomena emerge from the brain. So we experience a simulation of a map. The phenomena are not objects. A dualist perspective is to perceive the phenomena as reality - both the phenomena of awareness (self) and the phenomena of the other senses. A non-dual view is to perceive the phenomena as phenomena - again wondering if that is aligning with what you wrote ?

I'll try and draw another conclusion from this. The notion of cause and effect is dualistic, it assumes that cause and effect are two separate things. One cannot exist without the other. Some people might then conclude this proves neither exist but I think it makes more sense to see that the concept is limited. Impermanence implies that there must be change i.e. that the process unfolds.  The concept of cause and effect might be linked to the dualistic view that I am a separate entity with a freedom to cause things.

Where cause and effect really falls down is in regards to emergent properties. For example phenomena emerge from the brain so hard science will try to explain the phenomena in relation to the brain's parts. They will look for the cause of the effect but I suspect we will draw similar conclusions as we have for other emergent properties. For example gravity emerges from mass, once we can model gravity accurately we pretty much stop worrying about the fact that we can't explain what causes gravity.

I'm not sure the Buddha has this linguistic concept of emergent properties. It is interesting to consider co-dependent arising as a way of trying to describe emergence with a vocabularly of cause and effect.

Another nail in the coffin of a fundamental property of consciousness is research showing that consciousness is distributed throughout the brain. There appears to be no location where consciousness is "centralized" into a coherent exerience. For example if particular areas of the brain's visual system are damaged the victim does not notice that part of their visual field is missing. A more modern description of consciousness would need to consider it as a large number of relatively independent processes going on in the brain with an illusion of a single coherent experience.

There seems to be a natural tendancy to put a hiearchy in place between dual and non-dual perspectives. As if the dual perspective is an underlying reality. I don't believe the Buddha did that. It seems to me that both are ways of simulating a map.

Thanks for sharing.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 6:50 AM as a reply to Derek.
A $0.02 worth

re: Derek Cameron
(4/6/15 10:48 AM as a reply to Not Tao.)

"…. ontological propositions ("non-dual," "all is one") are red herrings... The tendency to express the result in terms of abstract propositions is just something we've inherited from Indian culture of the first millennium B.C. As I think you've already discovered, this is not actually helpful."

For starters, I would suggest the tendency to abstractions might also have something to do with Western mindset going into the 21st-century, and its knack at reading its own culture-bound concepts into artifacts of Indian culture of three millennia ago. (On the other hand, we must use words, verbal symbols, which, depending on skill of expression, could appear as just abstractions, or – what we at least try for – as describing to impart, to share, lived experience and insight therein.)

"And as you hint, it would be better were this discourse to take place in phenomenological terms."

As one might expect, I'll run with that suggestion, to explore understanding experience per se.

re: Not Tao (4/6/15 1:53 PM as a reply to Victor.)
"… What you say here is actually opposite of how most people here explain non-duality. A popular quote is "in the seeing, just the seen,"  meaning consciousness is nothing other than the object it is perceiving.

Phenomenologicially, there are the aspects of "seer", "seeing", and the "seen" (which could as well use "hearing", "touching","thinking", etc.). Central is the "seeing", the momentary arising of experience as an activity, a process. Any thing as a stand-alone "seer" or as a stand-alone "seen" (object) can only be understood as inferred (or sankara, some fabricated perspective). In an on-going procession of consciousnesses, each instance "intends" (in Brentano's sense, of "stretching into") the object; how the object appears is decidedly influenced by the seer's volition and an on-going context of conditioned happenings.

My take on "nondual" experiencing is something like enthralled, so to speak, in the pure immediacy of experience phaening, of its appearing, or showing (the meaning of Greek root verb phaino); the appearing as well as the experiencing of it are both activities, verbs, but our common (culture-bound) language refers to them by nouns.

Big problem – our language, reflecting, to a degree few are aware, or willing to face, a deeply entrenched "ontological bias" – assuming thingness (and nouns) as primary "reality". Just like the famous Pali phrase yathā-bhūtaṃ being routinely translated as "as it really is" or "as it actually is present", where a more faithful translation would be something like "according to how it has become so" in the present moment in the continuous process of conditioned becoming. The linguistic bias approaches a flat-out denial, so to speak, of anicca (impermanance).

Back to the quotation above: "… consciousness is nothing more than the object it is perceiving." (I'm not sure who's saying that above, but similar statements occur also elsewhere in this thread.) In both Abhidhamma and contemporary neuroscience (strange bed-fellows?), consciousness, by definition, can only arise in relation to an object (of that particular consciousness), which does not readily imply reducing consciousness to being nothing more than the perceived object.

"The cessation of consciousness is the attainment that "proves" there is no self - that there is nothing other than conscious phenomena - at the moment of stream entry [or whenever] ...."

Yes, perhaps: nothing happens, nothing is experienced that isn't an appearance in, to consciousness. So the process occurs only as experiencing an object. The Theravadan take would appear to be that "objects" are generally conditioned phenomena, but there's one object that's "unconditioned", where the object is not "intended" by the consciousness; in fact, this object appears with the cessation of intending (cetana). Some aspect of the normal process does cease, but that is not the total cessation ("oblivion" has been used before here) of consciousness, of awareness. And the arising of this unconditioned object is considered an aspect of stream entry. There is the experiencing of some very unusual appearance. (There is also possibly some degree of functional "self" present. Stream entry is said to encompass having abandoned "self views", i.e. of permanent, substantial self, but complete realization of anatta might be seen as fullfilled only at arahant / 4th path with relinguishing conceit and all delusion.)

re: Chris Marti
(4/6/15 5:26 PM as a reply to Not Tao.)
"I suggest, humbly, that wrestling with these conundrums and trying to reach a conventional, logical conclusion is like a snake trying to swallow its tail so as to make itself disappear."

The image of a snake as a circle, swallowing its own tail is in fact an ancient symbol for the conundrums of mind trying to understand itself. (To making itself disappear is not a part of that image, where I've run across it.)

re: Chris Marti (4/7/15 2:20 PM as a reply to Psi.)
"This is because my investigations, as my practice has matured, reveal that objects are aware in and of themselves. As Daniel Ingram says, they are right where they are. Right there. Experiencing objects requires no additional or external perspective, controlling entity, observer or POV. In this sense I see the Theravada phrase "in the seeing is just the seen, in the hearing is just the heard...."  right on the money."

Daniel could well have said "…they are right where they are. Right there." (I would twiddle the language to "… they appear… Right here.") So sensation appears, literally, in any given moment of awareness. Before or after, whether they (objects) were or are still there, and whether before or after there is some sentient organism (POV) experiencing them, is all beside the point.

I would also qualify (retranslate) the Sutta quotation to read: "in the seeing [the perceiving of the appearing as experienced] is just the seen [the appearance itself, irrespective of any object-in-itself…]…" To then get into a what that's behind the subject side of the perceiving, or a what that's behind the object side of the appearing – that's all mental cycling (and very often just spinning wheels with no traction) outside of and beyond the experience itself.

That's a lot of words, conceptual angles, around what inkling I've had of non-dual experiencing. "…Are right there…" gives the feel of it, though I would rather "… appears as happening right here…" And sure enough, when that experience arises (as non-dual), it's clear and self-evident (no, not that other self). In fact, it seems a huge waste of effort to activate mental goings-on that in any way reify a what on either end of the experience; in fact that loses the presence of living experience.

Chris Marti
hits the nail on the head in bringing up recursion (which I find relates to the snake image too).
"So I perceive an object and, as a human being, can then experience that experience, which is actually a second object/concept."

Isn't that the training?: Any momentary experience (sensation) arises; immediately, intentionally make that moment the object of a momentary experience of "noting", of perceiving (3rd khandha sanna) the distinctive mark (sign, nimitta) of the first moment. Straight out of theVisudhimagga (and major point in a dharma-talk by Ven. U.Thuzana at last weekend's retreat at TCM in San Jose). Then opening right back up to whatever impinges (sensation) next. Over time, mental muscles are developed on the way to deeply understanding how the mind works in response to sensations.

To shamelessly mix a couple of metaphors: Peter Deutsch (one of my heros back in geeking days, and one of the great programmers of the 20th century), used to quip: "to iterate is human; to recurse is devine." Paraphrasing: to repeat the same old suffering crap endlessly, or to skillfully reflect the mind on itself, aka go for "the holy life".

"I can, and regularly do, experience both the dual (It's how the human mind naturally [i.e. as conditioned] works, after all) and then if I pay closer attention I can experience the non-dual."

There's the trick – how to pay closer attention, and, having at least once had that experience, how to plug away at it further, rather than sit back with "now I know what it is", as Change A. questions:
"an actual perceptual change in your waking experience, or simply a working understanding of the way awareness functions"

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 1:02 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

What is not Awareness??????

a perception with a perceiver. 

Awareness: perception without a perceiver.   

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 7:40 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hello, Mark --

I'm wondering if I understand you correctly. Do you mean awareness is just another phenomena. For example color is a phenomena associated with sight, awareness could be a phenomena associated with consciousness. 

Typically people assume there is a separate "thing" called consciousness and then phenomena sit "on top" of this. If we consider awareness to be just another type of phenomena then I think it makes more sense. It does not solve the question of how phenomena come about but it simplifies the model and I don't see a good argument for adding the complexity of consciousness as something fundamental.

You seem to have this insight but then you ascribe awareness to objects. I think that might be an assumption.

Yes, yes, and inexact use of language  :-)

I see awareness is just another phenomena. As I said, I see it as a chimera. Also, I did not mean to ascribe awarenmess to objects - I think that's my inexact use of language (another reason why this area generates so much angst and disagreement as language is difficult to use to describe awareness/non-duality). I wrote that post yesterday and didn't have a lot of time to vet it. Between your comments and those of Chris J. Macie, a proper vetting has been accomplished.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 7:56 AM as a reply to Mark.
The notion of cause and effect is dualistic, it assumes that cause and effect are two separate things. One cannot exist without the other. Some people might then conclude this proves neither exist but I think it makes more sense to see that the concept is limited. Impermanence implies that there must be change i.e. that the process unfolds.  The concept of cause and effect might be linked to the dualistic view that I am a separate entity with a freedom to cause things. 

I would state this another way by saying everything is process. Objects, and by inference cause and effect when acting on independent objects, are mental contructs. Flux is how things are. Change is how things are. I think we can accept the idea of flux and the idea of the deep interactions that make up the world without requiring permanence, separateness or independence of any sort. Processes working to affect other processes.

Also, to be clear, I don't mean to assert that there's any kind of hierarchy between the various views. We see the world as we see it, as human beings. That includes the abililty to deconstruct habitual assumptions like "I/me/mine" and the subject/object duality.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 9:07 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

I would state this another way by saying everything is process.
The first thing that happens when someone say that everything is process is the process that happens in brain that processes what is seen, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted as a process without necessarily recognizing the process that is happening in the brain.

A bit more of my mind flapping!

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 9:38 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The notion of cause and effect is dualistic, it assumes that cause and effect are two separate things. One cannot exist without the other. Some people might then conclude this proves neither exist but I think it makes more sense to see that the concept is limited. Impermanence implies that there must be change i.e. that the process unfolds.  The concept of cause and effect might be linked to the dualistic view that I am a separate entity with a freedom to cause things. 

I would state this another way by saying everything is process. Objects, and by inference cause and effect when acting on independent objects, are mental contructs. Flux is how things are. Change is how things are. I think we can accept the idea of flux and the idea of the deep interactions that make up the world without requiring permanence, separateness or independence of any sort. Processes working to affect other processes.

Also, to be clear, I don't mean to assert that there's any kind of hierarchy between the various views. We see the world as we see it, as human beings. That includes the abililty to deconstruct habitual assumptions like "I/me/mine" and the subject/object duality.
A process centric view makes more sense to me too.

Phenomena are often associated with an object e.g. the warmth and light from the sun are saying something about a reality that is independent of those phenomena. Phenomena are fundamentally relative e.g. the sun is warm compared to the experience without the sun's rays. If we consider our experience to be the simulation of a map then the map is going to be good at informing us about some things and less useful for others. For example the map tells us that there are emergent properties, hierarchies, change. The map is inherently incomplete and limited by our ability to simulate a map. For example most humans have the capacity for a social circle of about 150 people yet our everyday experience is impacted by millions of people - it would be quite something to have a mind capable of maintaining that level of social interaction.

A non-dual view is to perceive the phenomena as phenomena - wondering if that is aligning with what you wrote ?

The point I'm trying to make is conclusions like everything is one or everything is emptiness or everything is god etc are confusing the phenomena for the reality and are therefore dualistic.

Does the phrase "simulating a map" make sense for you ?

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 10:54 AM as a reply to Mark.
A non-dual view is to perceive the phenomena as phenomena - wondering if that is aligning with what you wrote ?

Yes, Mark, to see the way things are perceived (to perceive phenomena as phenomena). That aligns with what I experience.

The point I'm trying to make is conclusions like everything is one or everything is emptiness or everything is god etc are confusing the phenomena for the reality and are therefore dualistic.

Yes, folks tend to use very confusing language even if they have the view. I suspect the ubiquitous nature of that kind of language is one reason why this topic was started.

Does the phrase "simulating a map" make sense for you ?

Mark, if by this you mean mind is constantly attempting to recreate a model (map) of the world then yes, that makes sense to me..

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 11:46 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:


Does the phrase "simulating a map" make sense for you ?

Mark, if by this you mean mind is constantly attempting to recreate a model (map) of the world then yes, that makes sense to me..

Hi Chris, yes that is close. But I think there is an important distinction between a model and a map. For example if I have a model of a car and I keep improving the accuracy of the model eventually I'll have a fully functional car. With a map I can keep adding more information to it e.g. the pH levels in a lake but the map will never become the terrain. If I believe I have a model and I spend a lot of time refining it I might come to believe that the model is reality. By remembering it is a map that confusion is avoided.

Whether we are holding a correct view or not it is enjoyable to be communicating on such a thorny issue without a lot of misunderstanding. Thanks. 

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/8/15 11:46 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
@Chris J Macie: Thank you for the breakdown.  This is what I was looking for. emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 2:05 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
This post is a partial edit of apassage in my previous post – trying for more precision about "non-dual". The passage is shown here (the major changes high-lighted in bold) to save those interested the perhaps onerous task of re-reading the entire original 'essay' to see the changes. (If DhO style gurus would prefer, I will edit it into the original post.)

re: Not Tao (4/6/15 1:53 PM as a reply to Victor.)
"… What you say here is actually opposite of how most people here explain non-duality. A popular quote is "in the seeing, just the seen,"  meaning consciousness is nothing other than the object it is perceiving.

My take on "non-dual" experiencing is something like enthralled, so to speak, in the pure immediacy of experience phaening, of its appearing, or showing (the meaning of Greek root verb phaino); the appearing as well as the experiencing of it are both activities. Actually, that's merely a conceptual distinction – there is just one activity: the appearing and the experiencing are aspects of a single event. An instant (some milleseconds) after an event of sensory impingement and activation by photons, sound waves, etc., the mind experiences the appearing of that event. Following Antonio Damasio's neurological analysis (as well as Abdhidhamma "phenomenological" analysis), the mind actually creates the appearance as a mental image or representation which is what it experiences – what the minds "sees", "hears", etc.

(It's difficult playing with the words. The events are activities, verbs, but our common language tends to refer to them by nouns. Big problem – this language (English), or perhaps human cognition in general, reflects a deeply entrenched "ontological bias" – assuming thingness (nouns) as primary "reality". Like the famous Pali phrase yathā-bhūtaṃ being routinely translated as "the way things are","as it really is" or "as it actually is present", where a more faithful translation would be something like "according to how it has become so" in the present moment in the continuous process of conditioned becoming. The linguistic bias approaches a flat-out denial, so to speak, of anicca (impermanance).)

Back to the quotation above: "… consciousness is nothing more than the object it is perceiving." (I'm not sure who's saying that above, but similar statements occur also elsewhere in this thread.) In both Abhidhamma and contemporary neuroscience (strange bed-fellows?), consciousness, by definition, can only arise in relation to an object (of that particular consciousness), which does not readily imply reducing consciousness to being nothing more than the perceived object. BUT, on the other hand, there is the sense in which the immediate consciousness is a non-differentiated (nondual) experiencing of appearing. In this sense the "consciousness" is not distinguishable from the "object" – i.e. it could be said "…consciousness is nothing more than the object…". Again, the linguistic problem inherent in expressing aspects of a process as "things". The snake (conceptualizing mind) trying to bite it's own tail (its experiencing process) -- see below more on this metaphor.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 2:10 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Perspectives on the word "awareness":

This thread reminded me of Antonio Damasio (in the book: Self Comes to Mind – Constructing the Conscious Brain) expressing wariness, so to speak, about using the word 'awareness' in connection with 'consciousness'. In the chapter where he discusses definitions ("ConcsiousnessObserved"):

"Open a standard dictionary in search of a definition of consciousness, and you are likely to find some variation of the following: "consciousness is a state of awareness of self and surroundings." Substitute knowledge for awareness, and own existence for self, and the result is a statement that does capture some essential aspects of conciousness as I see it: consciousness is a state of mind in which there is knowledge of one's own existence and of the existence of surroundings."

(Note, he does seem to be talking about "dual" (normal) consciousness.)

Checking an etymological (word origins) dictionary, "aware" gets referred to "wary", which is a Germanic word (the language family of English, German, Dutch, Scandanavian languages, and, btw, Yiddish). Meanings seem to be along the lines of attention, taking note, paying heed, perceiving in a sense of guarding, watching-out for, being wary of. Related words: beware, warn, ward, wares (goods one has to guard).

A clear sense emerges of a fundamental property of living organisms – having to watch-out for oneself to stay alive – for instance, noticing things that may be food, and things that may want to use oneself as food. Damasio uses a range of other terms (rather than "awareness"), concepts to express this, notably "emotion", which he uses very specifically to mean primal vedana-like reactivity: contact with surroundings immediately invoking pleasant (maybe to eat), unpleasant (maybe to get eaten), or neither / neutral. The word "emotion" is Latin "ex-" (out from) and "motio" (motion, movement); hence an organism contacts, perceives something and immediately has a sense of moving (out of its current state) towards or away from the stimulus. (Damasio defines "feeling", on the other hand, as what happens when the mind experiences (is conscious of) such 'emotion'.)

… for what it's worth…

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 7:54 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
Perspectives on the word "awareness":

This thread reminded me of Antonio Damasio (in the book: Self Comes to Mind – Constructing the Conscious Brain) expressing wariness, so to speak, about using the word 'awareness' in connection with 'consciousness'. In the chapter where he discusses definitions ("ConcsiousnessObserved"):

"Open a standard dictionary in search of a definition of consciousness, and you are likely to find some variation of the following: "consciousness is a state of awareness of self and surroundings." Substitute knowledge for awareness, and own existence for self, and the result is a statement that does capture some essential aspects of conciousness as I see it: consciousness is a state of mind in which there is knowledge of one's own existence and of the existence of surroundings."

(Note, he does seem to be talking about "dual" (normal) consciousness.)

Checking an etymological (word origins) dictionary, "aware" gets referred to "wary", which is a Germanic word (the language family of English, German, Dutch, Scandanavian languages, and, btw, Yiddish). Meanings seem to be along the lines of attention, taking note, paying heed, perceiving in a sense of guarding, watching-out for, being wary of. Related words: beware, warn, ward, wares (goods one has to guard).

A clear sense emerges of a fundamental property of living organisms – having to watch-out for oneself to stay alive – for instance, noticing things that may be food, and things that may want to use oneself as food. Damasio uses a range of other terms (rather than "awareness"), concepts to express this, notably "emotion", which he uses very specifically to mean primal vedana-like reactivity: contact with surroundings immediately invoking pleasant (maybe to eat), unpleasant (maybe to get eaten), or neither / neutral. The word "emotion" is Latin "ex-" (out from) and "motio" (motion, movement); hence an organism contacts, perceives something and immediately has a sense of moving (out of its current state) towards or away from the stimulus. (Damasio defines "feeling", on the other hand, as what happens when the mind experiences (is conscious of) such 'emotion'.)

… for what it's worth…

consciousness vs awareness is worth googling for definitions. apperception also. their definitions vary slightly depending on whether they are referring to psychology, philosophy or epistemology 

an unambiguous definition of the three in dharma discourses is long overdue me thinks. 

Nisargadatta uses their definitions in the reverse eg consciousness being a focussed awareness eg, for the benefit of an organisms survival.  and Awareness being a selfless holistic awareness (although he uses the terms non-dual or absolute). 

here's how cognitive science uses the word conscious, which is more like Nisargadatta's definition of it having content/focus etc "the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.

and we use unconscious to mean; out cold, asleep or in a coma, rather than unaware. 

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 7:15 AM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
Chris Marti:

I would state this another way by saying everything is process.
The first thing that happens when someone say that everything is process is the process that happens in brain that processes what is seen, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted as a process without necessarily recognizing the process that is happening in the brain.

A bit more of my mind flapping!
if it was a tsunami flapping across the city i doubt Hui Neng would be stopping to despense his great Zen Patriarch wisdom that it was just the mind moving to two monks arguing whether it was the sea moving or the land,  they'd be too busy running for their lives emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 8:51 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
...  they'd be too busy running for their lives...

Heck yeah! With legs and minds flapping like crazy ;-)

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 9:15 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:


if it was a tsunami flapping across the city i doubt Hui Neng would be stopping to despense his great Zen Patriarch wisdom that it was just the mind moving to two monks arguing whether it was the sea moving or the land,  they'd be too busy running for their lives emoticon

Hui Neng would be the first to start running without a thought crossing his mind as to what is moving whereas for the two monks, they would first think and then start running. Hui Neng would "just do it".

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 9:17 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti :

Heck yeah! With legs and minds flapping like crazy ;-)


Hui Neng's legs would be flapping like crazy but not his mind.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 9:40 AM as a reply to Change A..
Man, you guys are a tough crowd!  

emoticon

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/9/15 8:38 PM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
Chris Marti :

Heck yeah! With legs and minds flapping like crazy ;-)


Hui Neng's legs would be flapping like crazy but not his mind.  

if its just mind moving (not flag or tsunami) then why aren't they still when mind is? 

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/10/15 10:13 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:
Change A.:
Chris Marti :

Heck yeah! With legs and minds flapping like crazy ;-)


Hui Neng's legs would be flapping like crazy but not his mind.  

if its just mind moving (not flag or tsunami) then why aren't they still when mind is? 
They could well be still, just like Thich Quang Duc.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/10/15 7:00 PM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
Alin Mathews:
Change A.:
Chris Marti :

Heck yeah! With legs and minds flapping like crazy ;-)


Hui Neng's legs would be flapping like crazy but not his mind.  

if its just mind moving (not flag or tsunami) then why aren't they still when mind is? 
They could well be still, just like Thich Quang Duc.
nature of the human condition:  when you can't use your intelligence and be harmless, talk non sense and kill the body.  

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/10/15 8:30 PM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:
They could well be still, just like Thich Quang Duc.
nature of the human condition:  when you can't use your intelligence and be harmless, talk non sense and kill the body.  
We were talking about Hui Neng's response in which he could either run away or keep standing in case a tsunami stuck.

Nature of the human condition: Keeping on passing judgements about what someone has done or not done.

RE: What is awareness?
Answer
4/10/15 8:36 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Awareness is specific to each sentient being.  My awareness is my awareness and your awareness is yours.  The sense doors provide the pathways.  If I am dead there is no awareness which is not say that the external world ceases to manifest independantly.  I can't discount other possibilities yet this explanation seems the most likely.  I am merely positing charecteristics of awareness and entirely avoiding the bigger question relating to the source and purpose of awareness. Therein lies the mystery.